arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · lifestyle · romance · womens fiction

#MarriedAtFirstSwipe @FabFrosty @simonschusteruk @teambatc #review

Delighted to be joining the blog tour for ‘Married at First Swipe’ by Claire Frost. As always, thank you to Becca and the team at Simon & Schuster for inviting me to take part and sending a copy my way.

Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems…
Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.
When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?
In the modern tech-fuelled world of dating, is it possible to find true love?

What does TWG think?

I’m all for girl power and females supporting others, which is very handy as if the Spice Girls needed two new members, I am sure Hannah and Jess would fit the bill tenfold! Plus, its handy because this novel is full of girl power and strong women! Strong females come in all shapes and sizes. Some find their strength by letting their tears out, whilst others share their strength by using various different coping mechanisms. Or, if you’re anything like Hannah, you’ll find ‘strength’ in asking your best friend of over 20 years to find you the man you’re going to marry….on the day you’re going to get married.  

No, you didn’t read that wrong, Hannah wasn’t going to see or meet her new man until the day of the wedding! I mean REALLY, does anyone really trust someone THAT much? I don’t think i could have done that at all. One, I’m far too nosey. Two, I don’t even know my own dream type, let alone someone else working it out. And three, I dont even want to get married!

Anyway, as completely bonkers as this story is, for the reasons mentioned above, I could NOT wait to find out the details, and whether Hannah actually made it down the aisle, or what happened in the future. It really was such a ‘rub your hands together with glee because you’re about to get some gossip’ type of read, and I was in my element.

Even though Hannah’s love life was the center of attention, Jess’ marriage ended up showing cracks, highlighting the fact that whilst marriage is a wonderful thing for those who want it, its always a work in progress, regardless of how long you’re with the other person for. Even I found Tom, her husband, infuriating because he was a lazy little sphincter. But then again, did Jess have her expectations to high?

Overall I really enjoyed delving into the lives of Hannah and Jess, and I especially love G-Ma – what an absolute character!! At times, however, I did find the character dialogue between the main characters to be a little stilted in the fluidty, and I felt that sometimes the dialogue didn’t have as much oomph in it as the rest of the story had. With that being said, I really did appreciate the distraction that Married At First Swipe gave me, and I throughly enjoyed how fun and totally out there the storyline was – I definitely recommend it for readers who like to know every little detail about someone, as well as readers who like their stories to be outside the box!

Buy ‘Married At First Swipe’ from Amazon.

Gift ideas · Pets

Are you a dog owner who like spoiling your dog with yummy treats? Well, have I got a recommendation for you! Ever heard of #BonBonPooch? No? @BonBonPooch #doggiegifts #petlover #giftsfordogs

Picture shows a cupcake made by BonBonPooch with 'Happy 12th Birthday Bella' on it.

*Disclaimer: any opinions or thoughts written in this post are mine and are not affiliated with BonBonPooch in any way, nor is this review a result of being gifted any products by the company, and nor was I asked to write this blog post.

Before I became the owner of two, wild and completely bonkers dogs, I had absolutely no idea that there were companies out there catering for the tums of our four legged friends. I only thought that dog treats could be bought from the usual supermarkets or pet shops! Never in a million years did I think that people were making homemade goodies for dogs. I mean, really? Had I known beforehand, would I have thought those people were bonkers? Honestly? Probably. It’s a bit like when you become a parent and you’re quoted saying that you’ll never, ever, EVER give your child processed foods, Haribo, minging amounts of chocolate, and that you would only feed them countless fruit and vegetables and then wonder why they end up constipated…….but when you ACTUALLY become a parent, you find that your previous thoughts come back to bite you on the backside, literally. I reckon I would have been like that in regards to homemade dog treats!

What’s that got to do with buying things for your dog, right? Well, I was said person whose quote came back to bite them on the backside before I had my child, and I am now the proud dog owner who feeds their dogs homemade doggie treats and gets excited (and somewhat jealous) by the shapes and sizes those treats come in! It was around Halloween 2020 when my dogs received a box in the post. Yes, you read that correctly – my dogs. Seriously, I had to look twice at the ‘Barney and Nahla Holloway’ on the sticker. How the heck do my dogs get fun parcels and all I get is not so fun white letters telling me that my rent is about to go up?! Anyway, I digress. Thanks to a lovely friend (hi Mandie!) who chose to gift my dogs some goodies, I would never have heard of BonBonPooch. I Google some rather weird and wonderful things, don’t get me wrong, but I had never Googled doggie bakeries. Until now.

Inside the box they received were halloween themed yummies, dog treat lollies, skeleton shaped treats. Honestly, the attention to detail on them were brilliant. If I hadn’t known any better I would have thought that they were suitable for humans. Well, either that or I’m greedy, who knows. Christmas 2020 saw Barney and Nahla receive another box of yummies, this time all Christmas themed. For example, there was a Christmas pudding type crispie cake, snowmen and Christmas tree lollies, just to name a few. It really was fun to see what goodies the box contained.

Before I continue, I’ll give you a little backstory of one of my dogs, Nahla. I rescued her in March 2020 from Spain, saving her from the heartless hands of the Spanish authorities and the way that Podenco’s/Galgo’s are treated out there. I won’t go into detail here, but it’s definitely worth educating yourself about. Anyway, Nahla has a sensitive tummy. A fussy one at that. I’ve been used to having a greedy dog who would eat absolutely every and anything, so having a pooch that literally turned her nose up at certain foods, was a challenge in itself. She ate her main meals, don’t get me wrong, but if the size was too small, she got annoyed. When she was given her first BonBonPooch treat, I was a little bit apprehensive because I honestly thought that she was going to take one look at it and be all ‘thanks, but no thanks’. In the end, it was the complete opposite! I have never see her inhale food as quickly as she did the skeleton skull. She even finished before greedy guts Barney, AND she came back for more! They both did! To say that I was over the moon was an understatement! Although, that was another thing that came back to bite me on the backside because it didn’t take long for either of them to know what the BonBonPooch box looked like and show off their trampolining skills in the kitchen when they spotted it…..

The picture above is just one of the many items which can be found on the BonBonPooch website and, if you’re a stingy one like me – IT’S ALSO FREE DELIVERY!!!!!!. I found the price of the items to be pretty respectable given the fact that they’re all hand made and individually wrapped. Also, the treats are well looked after with bubble wrap in the box too. Not that the dogs would mind if their yummies ended up broken, but for me it’s the attention to detail which just keeps BonBonPooch at the top of my most looked at website.

There is a product of theirs which I just think is absolute GENIUS, and it’s the Yours and Paws Graze Box. Yes, you read that properly – YOURS and PAWS! So basically it’s a box that has treats for humans on one side, and doggy treats on the other side so you can share with your beloved pooch…or pooches…..or even children. I’m guessing children get the human side…right?

Picture shows a treat box filled with human goodies on the other side, such as Freddo chocolate, Crunchie bar, and other sweeties, with dog treats on the other side that are bone and star shaped with sprinkles.

See what I mean? How fun is that?! Here is the description of the Yours and Paws Graze Box, taken from the website:

A share box for you and your pooch!
Sent through the letterbox and stuffed with treats.
Hooman Sweets and Pooches Treats.
6 month shelf life and Free Delivery

Not a bad bargain for a tenner!

I genuinely think that this site is a winner for both their products and customer service, and I really do recommend that you check out their products and treat your four legged friends. Just be aware that deliveries are slightly delayed just now due to Covid, and I know that that goes without saying but I just wanted to put it here anyway.

If you want to follow BonBonPooch on Instagram you can do so here.
Also, if you wish to give the BonBonPooch Facebook page a helpful like, you can do that here.

For future reference, their website is

If you do end up buying their goodies, let me know! I want to be nosy and get excited with you!!

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle

#MyMothersSecret by Julia Roberts (@JuliaRobertsTV) – TWG’s #review @bookouture

Thank you, Bookouture and Julia herself, for asking me to be involved in the blog tour of ‘My Mother’s Secret. You can read my thoughts on the book right after the blurb. Enjoy!

‘They told me he died, but I never believed them. I’d have known,’ she says, her voice little more than a whisper and her eyes searching mine. ‘A mother would know if her child died, wouldn’t she?’

The phone call comes in the middle of the night, rousing Danni from her safe, warm bed. The police have found her mother Diana wandering miles from her house, confused and lost. Danni races to her mother’s side – and as usual, Diana doesn’t seem to want her there. But when Danni finds out that her mother is seriously ill, she decides to put the past behind her, and care for her mother in the time they have left.

But as some of Diana’s memories are slipping away, others are forcing their way to the surface. One night she breaks down and reveals that before Danni was born, she had another baby who never got to see the world. Faced with her mother’s heartbreak, Danni vows to do everything she can to bring Diana some peace, hoping that it will mend their fractured relationship too.

Yet as Danni investigates the past, tracking down the aunt she’s never met and searching for her lost brother’s resting place, her good intentions have unexpected consequences as more truths emerge. And there’s one shocking revelation which could change Danni’s life forever. Are some secrets best left buried?

What does TWG think?

I’ll get straight to the point. This book broke me. It left me an emotional, vulnerable shell of a person and I am astounded at Julia Roberts’ talent at making that happen. It takes a lot to melt my exterior, but by golly ‘My Mother’s Secret’ turned me into a puddle.

A mother’s instinct is one of the most powerful tools a woman could ever possess. Despite the fact that Diana’s health was deteoriating and that time was of the essence, her instinct told her to trust them and what she has been believing all along; that her dear child never died.

I felt for Diana, dont get me wrong, but I felt so sorry for Danni because of how she ended up living in the shadow of a brother she had never even met, or never knew existed until now. She has so many questions yet her mother isn’t in a position to answer them all….its no wonder she ended up doing a bit of detective work, right?

This storyline reminded me of something so fragile. So precious. Something that requires delicate handling. The emotional scenes that took over the book were heart shattering snowflakes. You want to touch them, to look after them, yet they cannot be held. It broke me. Im not saying that that is a bad thing either because it takes talent to reduce me to a snivelling shell.

What i enjoyed most about this book was the power and strength of the characters and their actual storyline. It touched upon situations that aren’t really spoken about, and I felt that Roberts did her characters justice in the way she told their story.

If youre in the mood for a powerful, emotionally driven novel, then this is definitely the one for you.

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Apple.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · romance

#TheMemoryKeeper by @JHaleauthor – @HarpethRoad first blog tour! #digitalpublisher #review

Hugest of thanks to Jenny Hale and Harpeth Road themselves, for inviting me to take part in the first ever blog tour for Harpeth Road, a new digital publisher who specialises in romantic fiction. It is an absolute honour to be involved!

Today is day two of the tour for ‘The Memory Keeper’ by Harpeth Road founder herself, Jenny Hale, and I have a review for you all. Before I get to my thoughts though, here is a little bit more about the book and the very gorgeous cover:

Hannah Townsend’s life is just as she’s always wanted it to be. She has the perfect job at a New York magazine, a small but elegant apartment in the upper west side, and an incredibly successful beau named Miles Monahan. This year, for her thirty-fifth birthday, she’s leaving the icy city sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and meeting Miles at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums. 

But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else. 

With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of a handsome businessman from Hannah’s past named Liam McGuire that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever. 

What does TWG think?

Jenny Hale writes romantic fiction that flows like the smoothest and silkiest chocolate. In other words; her story telling is utterly divine.

‘The Memory Keeper’ tells a story of love, hope and realising that life doesn’t always go the way that you want it to. Hannah likes perfection. She likes everything just so, and when something comes along to threaten that peace she has worked so hard to keep, it unnerves her. Add a family member with health that is quickly depleting, Hannah is unsure about where her life is heading.

Romantic fiction comes with exactly that, a romance, and this book keeps readers on their toes with the love interest in the present AND the past. Dun dun dunnnnnnn!! There’s got to be a bit of history to come back in your life that rocks the boat! Poor Hannah doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going….in more ways than one!

I really enjoyed losing myself in this drama filled, loving, heartwarming read. I’ve been finding reading quite difficult just now, so when I find a book that keeps me hooked and takes me on a journey, I relish it like never before and I’m thankful to Jenny Hale and The Memory Keeper for being that book.

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Kobo.

Purchase from Apple.

Purchase from Barnes and Noble.

book blogger

Read my thoughts on #TheGermanGirl by Lily Graham (@lilygrahambooks) @Bookouture

‘Our parents were taken. And if we go home, the Nazis will take us too…’

Hamburg 1938. Fifteen-year-old Asta is hurrying home from school with her twin brother Jurgen. The mood in the city is tense – synagogues have been smashed with sledgehammers, and Asta is too frightened to laugh as she used to.

But when she and Jurgen are stopped in the street by a friend, her world implodes further. Her Jewish parents have been dragged into the streets by German soldiers and if she and Jurgen return to their house, they will be taken too.

Heartbroken at the loss of her parents, Asta knows they must flee. With her beloved brother, she must make the perilous journey across Germany and into Denmark to reach their only surviving relative, her aunt Trine, a woman they barely know.

Jammed into a truck with other refugees, Asta prays for a miracle to save herself and Jurgen. Crossing the border is a crime punishable by death, and what she and Jurgen must embark on a dangerous crossing on foot, through the snowy forest dividing Germany and Denmark. And when barking dogs and armed soldiers find Jurgen and Asta escapes, she must hold on to hope no matter what. One day she will find her twin, the other half of herself. Whatever the price she has to pay…

What does TWG think?

This was some read! Such a gritty, turbulent novel that just kept on giving – something which this author is absolutely brilliant at!

Historically laced novels are definitely Lily Graham’s forte, and I felt like she really delved into the mindset and personalities of her characters, Jurgen and Asta. The emotions that the characters portrayed felt realistic and really tugged at my heart strings.

Reading about the situations that Jewish people found themselves in, made me feel physically sick. Before this book I was well aware of the Nazi’s and their horrific ways, however regardless of how many times I read the words in black and white from different books, this included, the shock value never decreases. Lily Graham has done her research and then some, and I think that she excelled herself with her consistency and both heartbreaking and incredible story telling.

An emotional eye opener of a read – one that will stay with me for a long time.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Police procedural

#PromisesInTheDark by @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #review

Happy publication day to D.K.Hood and ‘Promises In The Dark’! I am delighted to be kicking of the blog tour today – many thanks to Bookouture for having me.

The young girl pushes against the backseat of the family sedan, fighting to free herself from the crude ties restricting her hands and feet. As the car speeds towards the edge of town, she looks back at her family home, and watches in horror as it is suddenly engulfed in a mass of flames. Trembling with fear, she turns towards the driver and hears only laughter. She knows that the worst is yet to come…

Detective Jenna Alton surveys the charred remains of the large suburban home, stopping to pause at the three lifeless bodies of the Woods family. Jenna knows she’s looking for a serial killer, but her priority is finding the missing teenage daughter last seen on the night of the inferno.

Days later, Sophie Wood’s body is discovered floating in a shallow pool of crystal-clear water—known locally as Dead Man’s Drop—but Jenna still doesn’t know who would target the quiet family in such a brutal attack.

Delving into the family’s past, she makes a shocking discovery—a link between the killer and someone connected to her deputy David Kane. If Jenna is right and the killer is back and seeking revenge, then she must act fast to keep her deputy safe.

When another girl is taken, Jenna and David follow the trail into a network of underground caves on the outskirts of town. With little time before the killer claims his next victim, they race into the pitch-black tunnels, unsure whether they have just walked into the killer’s trap. Can they find the girl in time and escape the caves without the killer chasing them down?

What does TWG think?

One of, if not THE most disturbing book of the series so far! Which is saying something considering the things that Kane and Alton have come across in the 9 previous books.

A story that starts off with young children being the bait, indirectly speaking, always puts the fear of christ up me. Not that I’m saying should a child be used as bait later on in the book then I’ll be okay with it, not at all. I just find themes like that enough to make my jaw drop further, and a nervous energy crawl up my body far quicker than if I had read it in the middle. That’s exactly what happened here. The prologue plants the seed and ties the roots of the storyline in knots, making it hard for the reader to leave it alone regardless of how nervy you have begun to feel. Honestly, it was brilliantly written and definitely set the scene for the rest of the book.

Once again Kane and Alton have their work cut out for them. Their murderer hasn’t made things very easy for them, despite leaving a ‘trail’ of dead bodies in his wake. Whoever this person is is clearly dangerous and doesn’t think much of other living things. Just another thing that kept me hooked!

I was very disturbed by the storyline, but without sounding weird, I didnt find that a negative thing because what else would you expect from a thriller? Teddy bears and picnics? No. D.K.Hood may have her characters having picnics, but she would also have a dead body stuffed in the bear! (Just to clarify, that isn’t what happens in this book!)

As I may have said once or twice, I was truly glued to this novel and the way the characters developed over time. It may be the tenth book in the series, yet Kane and Alton never fail to surprise me.

Yet another dark, devious, and utterly transfixing novel from an author who is outstanding at holding her readers hostage with her words.

Buy now.

book blogger

Happy Dog Days at the @PugCafe – Anushka Fernando and Bertie the Pug @PugBertie @TheMirrorBooks


I am delighted to be closing the blog tour for ‘Happy Dog Days at the Pug Cafe’ by Anushka Fernando and Bertie the Pug – many thanks to Mirror Books for inviting me to take part and for supplying me with an ARC to review.

Happy Dog Days at the Pug Cafe COVER

Bertie the pug had an unlucky start in life.

Diagnosed with hemivertebrae and unable to walk, his owner decided to open up a dog-friendly cafe where he could meet friends and have fun.

The Pug Cafe quickly became a very special place for all dog owners to meet and have a drink.

But when the cafe faced closure, it was brave Bertie the pug and his friends who came to the rescue.

Inspired by true events, Happy Days at the Pug Cafe tells the heartwarming story of one little pug and his beloved cafe.

Help yourself to a Puguccino, put up your paws and get your nose into the heartwarming tale of Bertie and friends.

What does TWG think?

Goodness me – I really wasn’t expecting tears to fill my eyes reading this! Who would have thought a book about a bunch of pugs socialising in a cafe would have made me cry?!

Well, there was a lot more to this book than socialising pugs – something which completely blindsided me if I’m totally honest!

You see, Bertie the pug wasn’t very well when he was small and he needed to have an operation that came with a warning regarding his life. One of his owners, Anushka, was so frightened by what potentially could happen, and rightly so!

‘Happy Dog Days at the Pug Cafe’ is written in the voices of both Bertie and Anushka, with Anushka taking on the role of letting readers into the mind of the pug…as best as she is able, obviously! Because the narration of the book is so unique and cleverly done, I truly felt as though little Bertie was talking to me. Seriously, dog owners – we have all done it. We have all spoken for our dogs, or our other pets, but never have I ever read a book like that. It was so cute!

Like I said before, there was a lot more to the story than pugs going for a cuppa on a Saturday morning. The Pug Cafe ended up being a lifeline for some. Somewhere where they could be themselves without worrying about whether they would be liked or not. A place where they would get support should they, or they beloved pooch, would get poorly. It was that which made the tears fall. I won’t delve into the details as to what exactly happened or who was involved, but it certainly caught me because we don’t like to think about that sort of thing, but of course we have to.

I thought it was a brave thing for Anushka to do regarding her confidence issues, and I really do think that a lot of readers will be able to relate to her in various different ways. I know that I ended up nodding my head multiple times whilst reading this.

As emotional as this way, ‘Happy Dog Days at the Pug Cafe’ made me chuckle and left me grinning from ear to ear. This is really such a joyful, heartwarming novel which highlights the trials and tribulations of being a pet owner, not having much confidence, as well as finding the strength to go for what you want. That takes a lot of courage.

Getting to know Bertie was an absolute joy – what a hilarious, firecracker of a pug he is. A truly lovely, lovely read.

Buy now from Amazon.

book blogger · Foodie · Gift ideas · Gifted

Christmas Gift Idea with #TheWritingGarnet and @SousChefTweet #ChristmasGiftIdeas #foodie

Christmas 2020 isn’t going to be a Christmas that we are used to, so why not go with the flow and give a foodie gift that is different to anything you have probably given before?

Dishoom ‘From Bombay With Love’, (published by Bloomsbury) is a cookery book with a difference. A real cookbook with the love of food and traditional cooking at the heart of its spine. Not only does the book contain various recipes to make you think ‘ooooohhhh!’, they have been placed in between a real life story about life in Bombay, the types of cafes and buildings you may come across should you ever travel there, descriptions of traditional table settings or merely traditions in themselves. The authors have even included a map! (See picture at the very beginning.)

I love the personal touch of the cookbook and how every page has been written in a way that makes you feel as though you’re getting a taster of a cuisine that you may not have been able to try for yourself. Alongside the recipes and personal story are incredible pictures of varios buildings in the country, each having their own careful description attached to them for reference. What a lovely touch I must admit.

Thanks to the fabulous team at SousChef, Dishoom ‘From Bombay With Love’, comes with a group of ingredients in its own little cotton, drawstring bag. Think Ready Steady Cook but a bit more upmarket! The ingredients included in the bundle are:

Amchoor powder

Urid beans

Tamarind pulp

Black cardamom

Gram flour

Chana Masala 100g

Kashmiri chilli powder

I have never cooked food like this before, however now that I have no excuse having both some of the ingredients and an actual cookbook with easy to follow recipes, I can honestly say that I will definitely be giving this a go sooner rather than later.

If you like the sound of this foodie bundle from SousChef and wish to purchase a set for yourself, a loved one, or even both, then pop yourself along to their website for the  dishoom cookbook and more.

(Disclaimer: My set was gifted by SousChef themselves, and my thoughts and opinions are honest and unbiased. Many thanks to the team.)

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · BOTBSPublicity · lifestyle · netgalley · Non Fiction · real life

#TheBoyBetween by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (@MrsAmandaProwse) @BOTBSPublicity #mentalhealthawareness #depression

Before I go any further I just want to say sorry to Amanda, Josiah and Sarah for the delay in posting my review, and thank you to Sarah and Netgalley for the ARC.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

What does TWG think?

Firstly, having the courage to openly discuss a time in your life where you felt suicide was the only option, with complete strangers and in the form of a book, is such a brave thing to do. I take my hat off to Josiah for choosing to put awareness above everything else. Its not an easy thing to do at all. I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you.

Secondly, Amanda….its hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent who has to watch from the sidelines whilst her child goes through a situation only they can get themself out of. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been to go through that with Josiah, or the toll it took on your own mental health. Not only that, the courage it must have taken you openly dissect and ‘admit’ where you felt you went wrong as a parent, and to talk about such a heartbreaking time in your life. Your strength astounds me and I am so proud of you.

Depression is STILL seen as a taboo thing because you cannot see what is broken so, if you cannot see what is broken then nothing must be broken…..right? Completely and utterly wrong. In the book Josiah stated that he wished he had broken his arm or his leg because then he and others could see what was broken and what was needed to fix it. With depression or other mental illnesses, it isn’t a case of one thing fixes all.

How do I know this? Because like millions of other people, and like Josiah himself, I have depression and I also have a form of EDS too (hEDS in fact). As soon as I read about that diagnosis, my breath caught in my throat because I could relate to him on yet another level. I wanted to shout into the book that Josiah wasn’t alone because I could, and can, empathise with him.

This isn’t an easy read by any means. Its raw. Its hard hitting. Its emotional. Its dark. But above all else, its honest. Choosing to openly admit you were close to suicide, and choosing to talk about extremely personal things in order to bring awareness to the topic, is, as I’ve already said, such a brave thing to do. Unfortunately it can also bring a lot of judgement which, whilst its part of human nature to comment on the situations of the world and his wife, we have no right to do so as each and every one of us are different. Each and every one of us react to things in a different way, and what upsets one person may not upset another.

For example; in her chapters, Amanda spoke about how she felt she had let her son down with her parenting. Personally, I feel that she acted from the heart and in a way only a mumma bear knows how. I don’t think that she did anything wrong as a parent, because she was only acting out of love and fear. But Amanda does/did think those things. Is she wrong to feel like that? Hell no. Is my opinion wrong? No. Im an outsider looking in, there’s a huge difference.

Josiah’s story is a very relatable one and I would love to say that it’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t happen very often, but it does. What doesn’t happen very often is someone being so open about it instead of choosing to act like everything was all fluffy clouds and rainbows.

The honesty throughout this book, from both Amanda and Josiah, was incredibly moving and at times shook me to the core because I understood. Now me saying that isn’t taking the onus off them, not at all.

I am so proud of Amanda and Josiah for their strength and courage as they wrote this book together. It is such an important topic to discuss, more so as a one size doesn’t fit all and different things work for different people. I want to thank them both for sharing their stories with the world, and I wish I could hug them both. However my ramblings will have to do!

I cannot recommend this book enough. Its beautifully harrowing, tenderly heartbreaking, but poignant and severely honest. Its a little ray of hope when the skies turn grey. Its the one shining star in the night sky to help you on your way. Its a ‘friend’ when you feel like you have absolutely no one to turn to.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#TheMissingPiece by Catherine Miller (@Katylittlelady) @bookouture

Broken Heart Syndrome: A sudden and acute form of heart failure, brought on by emotional or physical distress..

After years of studying cardiac medicine, thirty-one-year-old Keisha knows the heart inside out. She knows the average heartrate for each age group, she can name every valve, and she can tell you exactly how much blood it pumps daily.

The one thing she doesn’t know is how to fall in love. And nor does she want to. The secret her tattoo covers is a reminder that the best way to protect a heart is to never let it feel in the first place…

Seventy-nine-year-old Clive is Subject Five in Keisha’s latest research project. He’s been in love since he was seventeen, ever since he met Nancy at a tea dance. But last night, his beloved wife was killed. Suddenly, he has no one to waltz with. He has woken up in hospital, a widower diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome.

These strangers, brought together by a broken heart, must face up to the truth of their pasts. Can Clive teach his new friend that until you’ve loved, you haven’t lived? And can Keisha help him see that it’s never too late for a second chance?

What does TWG think?

Omg I was all excited at first after spotting the main characters name, thinking that my name was being used!!!! Spoiler…its not as I’m Kaisha, not Keisha. Gutted! And no, they’re not pronounced the same either! Trying not to read it as my own name was definitely a task and a half I must say ha!

Keisha is a very reserved character who is severely set in her ways. Her own little quirks (like continuously checking her pulse) are what makes her who she is, but not many people understand her because of it. Honestly, she doesn’t even understand herself half the time!!

After the loss of a loved one, Keisha’s life changed and she was left feeling as though she was the cause and so, because of that, Keisha put that energy into her work to try and help others such as Clive or, as he is affectionately known; Subject number 5. No, not mambo number 5….SUBJECT number 5.

Poor Clive hasn’t had it easy and he fights a daily battle with his memory. I felt for him but I was so pleased that Keisha and nurse George refused to give up on him, even when he wanted to give up on himself.

I thought this book was such a cute, heartwarming novel which took on a voice I hadn’t really heard/read before. I thought the storyline was so unique and so interesting, my attention didn’t falter from the book at all.

Whilst I didnt cry or find the book overly emotional, I did love how touching it was and how every character had multiple layers to their personalities, as I felt as though I was constantly surprised by a new revelation instead of knowing everything straight away.

Its evidently clear that a lot of love and attention has gone into creating this story by the author, and I believe that she has done herself and her characters exceptionally proud by bringing their story to life in such a tender and warming manner.

Overall this was an enlightening, thoughtful read which warmed that ice cold heart of mine.

(Many thanks to Bookouture for the ARC)

Buy now.